Obama bows and scrapes before these totalitarian killers. When is the West going to face this war?
Car bomb at NATO air base kills 7 civilians
By Mirwais Khan - The Associated Press
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A suicide attacker set off a vehicle laden with explosives Thursday outside a gate at a sprawling base for U.S. and NATO operations, killing seven civilians in a second suicide bombing in as many days in southern Afghanistan, officials said.
Separately, Afghan authorities reported Thursday that avalanches have killed at least 29 people in the country's mountainous northeast.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the afternoon attack at a crowded entrance to Kandahar Air Field, claiming they were targeting a NATO convoy.
Two witnesses told The Associated Press that they suspect the suicide car bomber was trying to hit U.S. forces because he detonated his explosives just as two pickup trucks, which they say are often used by American special forces, were leaving the base.
The coalition said no NATO troops were killed. It does not disclose information about injured troops.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef said that NATO forces open fire after the bombing, and that they killed three of the seven civilians who died.
The coalition denied this, saying there was no fighting after the blast.
"There was no follow-on attacks and no disruption to operations" at the base, the coalition said.
Earlier, officials reported that the suicide bomber was walking near the gate, but the Afghan Ministry of Interior later said the attacker was driving a Toyota Corolla.
Zalmai Ayubi, the spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, said two children were among the seven civilians killed. He said eight other civilians, including two children and one woman, were injured in the explosion.
Gates to the larger U.S. bases in Afghanistan often are crowded with trucks waiting to deliver goods and and services, and local Afghans going to or coming back from jobs on the compounds.
Safiullah, a 40-year-old fuel tank driver from neighboring Zabul province, was waiting his turn to enter the base when the blast occurred.
"There was dust and smoke everywhere," said Safiullah, who uses just one name. "I got down on my knees. When the smoke lifted, I moved closer. I saw two children dead at the side of the road."
At the time of the explosion, two pickup trucks were leaving the base, he said. He said he remembered that because he and another man were conversing at the time about how U.S. special forces sometimes use that kind of truck.
The explosion shattered the window of a taxi driven by Sabiullah Khan, was at the gate waiting for customers.
"I put my head down in my car," he said. "For three or four minutes I was afraid. I was reciting the words of the Quran," the Muslim holy book. "When the smoke cleared and I knew I was OK, I started looking outside. People were shouting for help. I saw one vehicle on fire. The Afghan army were running and taking out the wounded."